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First drive: Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

First drive: Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
Mercedes gets in on the whole 'coupe' SUV thing with its impressive GLC Coupe.

 



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Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

It's Land Rover's fault really, as it successfully identified the desire for mid-sized SUVs that look and drive in a sporty manner with its Range Rover Evoque. Mercedes-Benz wants a piece of the pie now, which is why it follows up the launch of its lovely GLC SUV with the GLC Coupe. It loses a little practicality, but its unique looks and sportier chassis set-up hold plenty of appeal to compensate.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe AMG Line
Price: GLC Coupe from 40,580 on-the-road
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 diesel
Transmission: nine-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Body style: five-door, five-seat SUV
CO2 emissions: from 155g/km (180 per annum)
Combined economy: 47.1mpg
Top speed: 147mph
0-62mph: 6.2 seconds
Power: 258hp at 3,400rpm
Torque: 620Nm at 1,600- to 2,400rpm
Kerb weight: 1,915kg

What's this?

The new Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, a sportier looking and driving version of Merc's impressive mid-size contender. It's longer and lower than the standard GLC, a little less practical and a good deal more expensive. The range kicks off at 40,580 for the GLC 220 d Coupe, which presents a 3,005 premium over the conventional model. Above that there's the GLC 250 d, starting at 41,735, while the range will be boosted later in the year by the arrival of the six-cylinder GLC 350 d tested here and the sportiest variant, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 43 Coupe. In a year or so the GLC 350 e plugin hybrid will go on sale. Four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission are standard across the line-up.

For the UK, the line-up is broken into Sport and AMG Line, the former featuring Garmin satnav, Active Park Assist, Artico 'leather' upholstery, reversing camera, keyless start, LED headlights, heated front seats, and electrically operated tailgate and more. The AMG Line costs 1,495 more and adds a flat-bottomed AMG steering wheel and other interior embellishments, while the exterior gets a diamond grille with chrome pins, 19-inch alloys and an AMG body styling kit. It certainly looks the part. Buyers can upgrade the AMG Line cars with the 495 Night Package to add gloss black detailing throughout and a unique finish for the rims. There are plenty of other options and packs to choose from, including air suspension for 1,495.

Rivals vary from the BMW X4 and Porsche Macan at one end of the sporty spectrum to the Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Evoque at the other. The GLC Coupe can sit four adults in comfort, even with that dipping rear roofline and though the boot is some 50 litres smaller than the regular GLC, it's still big enough.

How does it drive?

We won't know for sure what a UK model will drive like until, well, it arrives in the UK later this year, as the test cars at the launch in Italy either had Dynamic Body Control (adaptive damping), which probably won't be available in Britain or full Air Body Control (adaptive damping and air springs). The latter might be worth investing in, as it gives drivers the option to choose between sporty and comfortable settings depending on their mood and the road surface. None of the settings result in a jarring ride, though, so despite the GLC Coupe's sportier set-up and lower centre of gravity, it retains almost all of the regular GLC's comfort and comportment. It's also highly refined, keeping wind roar and the sound of the diesel engines at bay.

The GLC 250 d has adequate performance, certainly enough for a lot of time on the motorway and most people's needs. The GLC 350 d, however, is far more rewarding to drive. The 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, with its 620Nm of torque, helps the GLC's chassis come to life. And it turns out to be more interesting to drive than most of the sporty SUVs, including the BMW X4 (though not the Porsche Macan). This is one of the few cars in the sector that doesn't feel like you're trying to bend the laws of physics when you push it harder. It just gets on with the job of covering ground quickly and competently. Sure, the steering is still a little lifeless, if pleasantly direct, but the six-cylinder engine has more than enough grunt to trouble the 4Matic four-wheel drive system's traction without ever being what you'd call a handful. The brakes seem up to the job too and the nine-speed automatic transmission works well - if best left to its own devices the majority of the time.

Verdict

There's no doubt in our minds that buyers of the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe will be drawn to its unique appearance and sporty image, but the company has done a good job on giving the Coupe a subtly different feel on the road. It's at its absolute best in 350 d guise as the four-cylinder diesels can't muster enough performance to do the accomplished chassis justice. In this specification it's showing signs of beating the BMW X4 at its own game. Roll on the AMG version...

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4 4 4 4 4 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Shane O' Donoghue - 5 Jul 2016









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2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 350 d Coupe. Image by Mercedes-Benz.








 

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